Online ExpertTrack in Nature & Environment

Systems Thinking for Sustainability: Complex Systems Analysis

4.7 (6 reviews)

Discover tools for complex systems analysis and design that will guide your work towards a more sustainable future.

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Except Integrated Sustainability Except Integrated Sustainability

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Take an integrated approach to sustainability management

Everything on the planet is interlinked. This applies to human society, processes, and organisations. If you want to drive sustainable change, you need to understand that nothing exists in isolation, but works as part of a larger system.

This ExpertTrack will equip you with systems analysis and design tools to help you gain a more nuanced understanding of complex systems and use this understanding in practice. The systems thinking approaches you’ll learn are also geared towards effective change, to empower you to design actionable interventions.

Only by taking positive, practical steps will we be able to build a sustainable future. Systems thinking can play a central role in driving the change you need to meet your own and your organisation’s goals.

Discover how to derive novel insights from systems thinking

This ExpertTrack covers both theoretical and methodological components of Symbiosis in Development (SiD) - the first framework for integrated sustainable development. You’ll gain analytical skills and practical tools needed to unravel any complex societal issue you might grapple with in your practice.

As a tool for systems analysis and design, the SiD framework helps us to map complex systems, shining light on normally overlooked opportunities with a potential to drive sustainable change across different disciplines and specialisms.

Design actionable interventions through systems analysis and design

The 3 complementary courses will guide you through extended SiD Theory, SiD Method, and System Mapping.

The extended SiD theory course will equip you with an in-depth understanding of SiD theory and prepare you to use this knowledge in practice.

The SiD method is a five-step method to guide a project, from goal setting to execution and evaluation, providing you with practical tools to improve the sustainability of your chosen system.

Finally, the systems mapping course will guide you through understanding complexity by putting it down on paper. Together, the courses equip you with theoretical and practical skills crucial for creating long-lasting, positive impact.

By applying systems thinking to the huge sustainability challenges we collectively face, we can take practical steps towards building a more sustainable future.

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Key skills you will learn

  • Sustainability
  • Systems mapping
  • Systems analysis
  • Systems thinking
  • Sustainable development
  • Development framework
  • Sustainability strategy
  • Project planning
  • Roadmap development
  • Applied systems thinking
  • Complex systems

Experience required

There are no formal entry requirements for this sustainability management ExpertTrack. The insights from it, however, would be of most utility to those with some background knowledge of systems thinking.

This will position you to take practical steps towards driving sustainable change. It is suitable for professionals across industries, in positions of influence.

For an introduction into systems thinking, you can start with Systems Thinking for Sustainability: an Introduction to the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) Theory.

Getting started

This ExpertTrack will be interesting to professionals who want to leverage systems thinking to better understand complex systems, and take practical steps to drive sustainable change.

This includes sustainability enthusiasts, policymakers, researchers, engineers, business strategists, entrepreneurs, executives, NGO workers, or journalists.

This ExpertTrack will equip you with sustainable development frameworks that can be applied across industries. These tools are useful to practicing and aspiring sustainability professionals or those who want to drive sustainable change in their area.

ExpertTrack course overview

  • Course 1

    4.7 (6 reviews)

    Explore complex systems analysis structures, through which you can design strategic interventions to drive sustainable change.

    3 tests

    3 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      What does sustainability actually mean?
      • Welcome
      • Back to school: Revisiting The Theoretical Components of SiD
      • Systems as Collections of Objects and Networks
    • Week 2

      Analyzing Complex Systems
      • Complex Systems Thinking
      • Building a Clear Analysis Structure
      • Taking Stock
    • Week 3

      Improving Complex Systems
      • Transitioning Systems
      • Planning
      • Knowledge Check
  • Course 2

    Apply the SiD integrated sustainable development framework to map and understand complex systems and drive sustainable change.

    1 test

    6 peer-graded assignments

    6 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Iterative Design for Systemic Solutions
      • Introduction to the Course
      • Bird’s eye overview of SiD Method
      • Co-create and iterate
    • Week 2

      Goal setting
      • Setting Systemic Goals
      • Vision, Sub-Goals, and KPIs
      • Goal formulation
    • Week 3

      System Mapping and System Understanding
      • Mapping, Putting complexity down on paper
      • System understanding
      • Reaching the "Eureka" Moment
    • Week 4

      Solutioning and Roadmapping
      • Finding solutions
      • Roadmaps
      • DIY Roadmapping
    • Week 5

      Iterate or Time to Move On?
      • Evaluation Phase
      • Iterate or Time to Move On?
    • Week 6

      Winding Up
      • Method Overview
      • Think, Act, Repeat.
      • Along the road: keep mapping
  • Course 3

    Learn how systems mapping can help us understand the interacting, interrelated, and interdependent components within a system.

    6 peer-graded assignments

    3 weeks

    4 hours per week

    • Week 1

      Drawing complexity on paper
      • Introduction to the course
      • All about system Mapping
      • Mapping your project
    • Week 2

      Sketching Maps
      • How to Make System Maps
      • Creating Your First System Map
      • Sharpening our tools
    • Week 3

      Stakeholder Map Quick Guide
      • Preparing the Ground
      • Mapping Them Out
      • Stakeholders and windmills

Prove you're job ready

Highlight the new, job-relevant skills you’ve gained and supplement existing qualifications with a hard-earned, industry-specific digital certificate – plus one for every course within your ExpertTrack.

  • Learn the latest in your chosen industry or subject.
  • Complete each course and pass assessments.
  • Receive certificates validated by the educating organisation.
  • Impress employers with learning outcomes you can add to your CV.
  • Make your career dreams a reality.

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Pay a monthly subscription fee of $39 for as long as it takes you to complete the ExpertTrack. You can learn at your own pace and cancel at any time.

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World-class learning with Except Integrated Sustainability

We deliver concepts and strategies for resilient, just, and inspiring cities, companies, governance, and industry.

Meet your instructors

Ruben works at Except's Knowledge & Training pillar to develop and share the SiD methodology in a way that is understandable, comprehensive, up to date and valid.

Tom is a renowned sustainability focused entrepreneur, architect, author, and advisor. He developed the Symbiosis in Development (SiD) framework, and leads his field with 20+ years of experience.

I am a sustainability consultant and I enjoy working on complex issues that require research, analysis, and creativity.

Born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, with passion, creativity, and enthusiasm, Mari is part of the EXCEPTional team.
This means: we are here to make people create a better future today, together.

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